The 2015 Railway Stakes field has been released and 15 horses are set to contest the Group 1 event that will be held at Ascot on Saturday.
Black Heart Bart will carry the top weight of 58 kilograms in the Railway Stakes and he will have the chance to record his maiden win at the highest level of racing.
The Blackfriars gelding stamped himself as a genuine Group 1 contender when he recorded four Listed win on the trot at the start of the year – included a five and a half lengths romp in the Listed Bunbury Stakes (1400m) on March 8 – and he finished a credible fourth in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 16 before he failed to fire in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 6.
Black Heart Bart returned to the races with a narrow victory in the Listed Birthday Stakes (1200m) at Belmont Park on October 3 and he made it three victories in a row with narrow wins in the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1420m) at Ascot on October 21 and the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on November.
Black Heart Bart has been in outstanding form this preparation, but it is star mare Delicacy that is currently on top of betting markets for the Group 1 event.
Delicacy took out the Listed Ascot 1000 Guineas (1800m) at Ascot in February and she went on to complete a simply outstanding campaign that included wins in the Listed Natasha Stakes (2200m), Group 3 Western Australian Oaks (2400m), Group 2 WATC Derby (2400m), Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) and Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m).
The Al Maher mare returned to the races with a tough third in the Lee Steere Stakes and she is sure to relish the step-up to 1600 metres for the Railway Stakes.
Locally-trained horses have dominated the Railway Stakes in recent years, but Messene, Good Project and Mr Utopia will all be given the opportunity to record win for eastern state based trainers this weekend.
Messene has not recorded a race win since he took out the 2014 edition of the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22 and he has been an inconsistent performer during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, but he finished in the placings in both the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) while he finished fourth behind Winx in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
Good Project will make his Group 1 debut in the Railway Stakes after producing a string of consistent performances during his spring campaign, while Mr Utopia will return to racing in Perth after he finished a credible sixth in the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m) last weekend.
The 2015 Railway Stakes field is rounded out by Fuchsia Bandana, Wink And A Nod, Balmont Girl, Bass Strait, Battle Hero, Hazzabeel, My Sister Lil, Special Delivery and Tower Of Lonhro.
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